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indenture

Syllabification: in·den·ture
Pronunciation: /ˌinˈden(t)SHər
 
/

Definition of indenture in English:

noun

1.1 historical A deed of contract of which copies were made for the contracting parties with the edges indented for identification.
Example sentences
  • Similarly, violations of bondholder rights by persons other than the company generally will not result in a breach of the bond indenture, since these persons are not party to the indenture.
  • By an indenture of the same date executed by them, the Somerset Estate was appointed and transferred to the 4th Duke.
  • At the dawn of the twentieth-century, baby farms provoked sensation, newspapers advertised babies, and indentures and deeds were still used to exchange children.
1.2A formal list, certificate, or inventory.
Example sentences
  • This can be expressed as a ratio or as the conversion price, and is specified in the indenture along with other provisions.
  • Many of the local indentures of the fifteenth century survive too; at first glance they seem informative, but can be misleading as to electoral method.
  • The creditors said that the bond indenture allowed a foreclosure on the company's assets in lieu of repayment.
1.3An agreement binding an apprentice to a master: the 30 apprentices have received their indentures on completion of their training
More example sentences
  • Apprentices' indentures issued by the Edinburgh College of Surgeons in the 1720s forbad trainees to exhume the dead - which suggests that they had been doing so.
  • Apprenticeship indentures from the 1880s make interesting reading.
  • Fortunately he was literate and his indenture involved legal training.
1.4 historical A contract by which a person agreed to work for a set period for a landowner in a British colony in exchange for passage to the colony.
Example sentences
  • Once used to bring workers to the American and West Indian colonies, indentures exchanged a fixed period of labour for transportation, payment, food, and housing.
  • Servitude became a central labor institution in early English America: Between one-half and two-thirds of all white immigrants to the British colonies arrived under indenture.
  • More would have made the trans-Atlantic voyage, but poverty had forced many into debt or indenture.
1.5The fact of being bound to service by an agreement of indenture: men in their first year after indenture to the Company of Watermen and Lightermen
More example sentences
  • Today, we are shocked when young children are put to work for pennies a day in India, or China, in conditions of indenture that approximate slavery.
  • Even girls without a good relationship with their parents forgave them and accepted their indenture as a filial duty.
  • Parents also begged the girls not to reveal the parents' involvement in the indenture to the police, and accused the girls of being unfilial if they did.

verb

[with object] (usually be indentured to) chiefly historical Back to top  
Bind (someone) by an indenture as an apprentice or laborer: (as adjective indentured) landowners tried to get their estates cultivated by indentured laborers
More example sentences
  • She is hopelessly indentured to her wicked stepmother who treats her like a voluptuous doormat.
  • Most of us are indentured to one or another degree to any of a number of physical and psychological desires.
  • He left school at 16 years of age, with no idea what he wanted to do, so his father indentured him as an apprentice in his company.
Synonyms
bind, contract, employ, apprentice;
Law article

Origin

late Middle English endenture, via Anglo-Norman French from medieval Latin indentura, from indentatus, past participle of indentare (see indent1).

Derivatives

indentureship

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Their will to survive, no matter the obstacles, was pivotal in releasing them from the physical and psychological bondage that characterised indentureship.
  • Oh well one could hold out hope that they were selling themselves into some sort of indentureship and this would be the last episode.
  • By distancing herself, Condé is able to explore anew the ethno-social legacy of slavery and indentureship in a French Caribbean village.

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